2/16/2018 3:35:00 PM Rudolph retires from Hackensack Fire & Rescue after 28 years
By Ally Garbe of the Press-Citizen
When living in small towns, people tend to spend their time doing a number of different things. Whether they find interesting hobbies or take on community responsibilities, it seems as though we in the Lakeland keep our days busy.
One such individual in our communities is Tim Rudolph of Hackensack. After spending 28 years serving on the Hackensack Fire Department, he's decided to retire.
When Rudolph began in 1990, he hadn't even inquired; the department called him directly and invited him on. He was excited and nervous, but words of wisdom from his father gave him confidence. "My dad said to me, 'What if you did something good for the community, the department, yourself?' It inspired me to continue."
Over time, Rudolph found enjoyment in the Department working on fundraisers, helping his fellow firefighters and taking care of people in the community. He has found that situations involving people he recognized, they look to him for reassurance that he is glad to provide. The hardest parts have been having to walk away from a fire knowing he'd done everything he could, but still resulted with the loss of homes or cabins. "We haven't had a lot of loss here," he mentioned.
In recent years, Rudolph and his Department partner, Aaron Isaacs, spent a week in New Mexico for emergency training where they learned about First Response in large-scale emergencies. They were accompanied by investigators, EMTs, police and other firefighters from all over the country.
"Aaron and I learned a lot about how to safely handle certain situations, and also about each other," Rudolph commented. They actively participated in all the training activities they could. After classes concluded for they day, they would explore interesting areas of Socorro to learn about the culture of the Southwest.
By the end of the week, the two had received the honorable 'Instructor Status' due to their diligence during training.
Rudolph has seen the Department change over the years with new equipment, training and members. "It's like a fine wine. We've gone from good to exceptional," he boasted. Currently, Hackensack Fire & Rescue has 28 members with Rudolph's retirement. "We have a quick response time and we're well equipped."
The Department is starting a program where retired members can come back and help with fundraisers throughout the year, which Rudolph looks forward to. "It's cool watching families grow and recognizing them in different places after seeing them at fundraisers. I want to keep helping," he said.
Rudolph reflected he wouldn't have done anything differently during his time on the Department. He retires with a heavy heart and bittersweet emotions, but he wants to provide space for new members. He's honored to continue helping the Department in the future.